With a total of 14 locations, sewing and quilting classes, and a cornucopia of handpicked sewing products, Quality Sewing & Vacuum offers needle wielders all the necessities for their projects. Experts helm free sessions that teach participants how to use their sewing machines to work toward reinventing an old skirt or craft an elegant canine wedding gown, while special events feature guest speakers who impart home decor, garment construction, quilting, and embroidery tips to audience members. Shoppers can peruse the cache of sewing machines from brands such as Singer, Pfaff, and Brother alongside accessories, embroidery designs, and vacuums that clean up rooms after testing out how easy it is to find a needle in a haystack.
Smoke and fierce heat rise from a battalion of Weber gas grills and Big Green Egg smokers as barbecue docents line up in front of them, ready to wrangle rafts of raw meat into expertly grilled, smoked, and sauced feasts. In classes that range from three to seven hours, Phoenix BBQ and Grilling School's instructors impart their knowledge of sauces and marinades. They also teach students how to brine, smoke, and grill ingredients such as ribs, turkeys, chickens, peppers, pork, and veggies, all of which are provided. The three dudes in charge have been leading classes since 1998. Head honcho Stu McMullen draws upon myriad cooking classes and international travels to develop exciting recipes, while "sauce king" Eric Viken introduces sauces that can enchant palates and save accidentally overcooked meats. The barbecue experts hold classes onsite or in private backyards, enabling the family cat to finally learn to do something productive with its hunting gifts.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
Escape Outdoors stocks its shelves with an extensive wardrobe of apparel and gear designed to withstand the world’s harsh outdoor environment. With popular name brands such as The North Face, Patagonia, Helly Hanson, and others to choose from, customers will find themselves face-to-face with an ominously large list of options, not unlike the time they witnessed a troop of yetis materialize out of the mountain mist after hours of wandering over treacherous bunny hills. Guard your feet from the ground’s mood swings with a pair of men’s Reef AWOL sandals ($30), whose grippy outsole ensures optimal traction while freerunning to work. A women's Under Armour Proxima hoody shirt ($45) keeps female athletes cool, dry, and fresh-smelling with HeatGear moisture control and UV protection. Enwrap a gentleman’s noggin within the acrylic embrace of a Nixon Smoky beanie ($25), or keep your body’s precious heat from escaping through your navel by wearing a women’s ColdGear UA Base 2.0 crew shirt from Under Armour ($49.99), which comes in black, cornflower, or pink.
Winner of the 2010 ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence, Lowe's has been helping customers conserve energy and expletives with home improvement, gardening, and hardware solutions for every budget. With the store's friendly handypeople as their guide, nail-pounding novices and seasoned remodelers alike can outfit their toolbox for any undertaking with more than 6,000 products between $25 and $50. Impress spouses and annoy car-pooling coworkers by ably installing ceiling fans into your car roof. Add lighting fixtures to darkling domiciles, or finally finish your back yard's Super Mario Bros. level with Lowe's garden tools. The store can also mix together a rainbow of hues for painting projects involving dining rooms, nurseries, and sweat lodges. Afterwards, you can clean up the dust with a 6-Gallon HP Wet/dry Shop Vac ($44.97), or rinse off caulk-covered corpuses under the Moen Brushed Nickel 7 Spray Pattern Shower Massager ($49.98). Regardless of your mission, the accommodating staff at Lowe's will offer expert advice for completing your home's improvements.